Celebrating Freedom Prompt


This is the prompt I ran across the other day. You just know I had to answer it. Without further ado, I give you “Celebrating Freedom”.

Roman Feast

He’s dead. We are finally rid of the tyrant known as Caligula and are free. His little boots no longer crush us in fear. No more do we have to fear for our lives or our wives. The Praetorian Guard took care of the tyrant and his family over the evening. They may have been a bit zealous when it came to his infant daughter, but no chance can be taken that his family will try to avenge his sadistic lifestyle. What he did to our wives and children was deplorable; but threatening to name a horse as his council – that is a dignity that no man should have to face.

Looking at the revelers around me, I can clearly see how afraid they were. This much wine didn’t even cross my lips when I married. Though I cared greatly for my wife, on that day I was fearful. What if the emperor wanted her or the dowry she carried? What if he felt we were trying to assassinate him? Though we weren’t at the time, those are the thoughts that ran rampantly through my head.

I remember the day Caligula was crowned, we were excited for the hope that he brought our country. The spring sun was hot that day. It seemed as though Sol himself were blessing the day at Jupiter’s command. Such divine signs were not to be ignored – and that was something the Romans had never done.

At first, his reign was healthy and energetic. That slowly turned to madness after the fever took him.

The day he was crowned was truly a splendorous sight that the Ancient City hadn’t seen in years. He freed wrongfully imprisoned citizens and abolished the imperial tax. He filled the stadiums with chariot races and gladiator games. The populace was happy. Until the fever.

That’s when we realized that maybe we should have listened to the rumors of his youth on the Island of Capri. Long had we heard the gossip of incest with his sister and joyfully watching executions. We had even heard of his love of torture. Still we thought some of his father’s good sense would stick with Caligula. Never would we have believed such heretic words.

No descendant of Caesar or Augustus should be so cruel. Then again, spending so much time in Tiberius’ company couldn’t have been good for him. That man was as sour and lecherous as they come.

When Caligula contracted brain fever as Jupiter commanded the seasons to turn we mourned. Our great hope was at Mors’ doors. We prayed to the Gods that we wouldn’t lose our greatest hope.

Looking back, I clearly see how bitterly the Gods answered our prayers. Caligula was not the same when he came back to us. No longer was he jovial and understanding. He had become bitter, cruel, and twisted.

When Caligula was well again he instituted a food tax. He resurrected treason trials and through his rank around as he thinned out the senate. Those horrendous trials replenished our treasury after his extravagant spending; so did his extortion when a senator fell asleep at an auction. Thirteen gladiators never cost a man so much.
Upon his sister, Drusilla’s death, he had her deified; he even had the nerve to commission coins in her image, beautiful though she was, Drusilla should never have been on a coin. That is an act that will not hold out the year; coins will be melted and deification revoked. The senate will use Damnatio Memorae to wipe Caligula’s cruelty from our history.

Worst of all he declared himself a living God. The powers of the divine are something no mortal should pretend to have. The temples and statues he erected in the Eternal City are being destroyed as this banquet takes place.

I have not seen such celebrations since Caligula was crowned; unlike that day though, the weather is far colder. This merriment is sure to last a generation as no man wants to take his liberty for granted any more.

One can only hope, that come morning the senate will have even better news for us to celebrate – after all, it isn’t every day that they will be able to choose a new emperor and a new hope. Until then we will celebrate the demise of the tyrant.


Fall From Grace – Chapter 8


As many of you know I am in the midst on writing a novel that takes place against the bloody backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials. Previously I have given you the first seven rough chapters. Without further ado I give you the eigth chapter. As always feel free to tell me what you think of the story thus far.

Happy Reading!

The days dried out as Grace sat with her back to a wall and her wrists and neck locked in a pillory. Her wrists and neck were chafed and her hair looked as though it were crawling of its own free will.

The frail Mrs. Osbourne sat on one side of her and Tituba on the other. All three women were shackled at the ankles. Mrs. Good hadn’t been seen in the jail for more than a day.
It had taken a couple of days for Grace to sit upright, rather than lay hunched over in her own waste; now, though, she gingerly sat with her back to the harsh stone wall. Mrs. Osbourne and Tituba had managed to move her away from the far wall and closer to the middle of the cell. All three of them may have been covered in their own filth, but none of them wanted to sit closer to the five gallon buckets that their waste was supposed to go in, than they had to.

The tiny cell reeked of human waste and stale, coppery blood that turned black as it dried. There hadn’t been a single soul to visit the jail in the last day. The jailer himself served their dinner – and that was naught but a bowl of stew with stale, crusty bread.
The women sat in silent, miserable camaraderie as the morning sun dimly illuminated the cell. Tituba looked over at Grace and gasped, “Miss Grace, your hair is crawling!”

“I had hoped that the itching was merely my mind trying to escape from this brutal prison,” Grace whispered tearily as the room descended into encompassing silence.
The deafening silence was broken by the steady clank of metal on metal. The hardened voice of the sheriff derisively called out, “Supper time you foul creatures.”

As the sheriff arrogantly strode into view the ladies could see that he was accompanied by a woman who was carrying a loaf a bread and tray with three bowls of steaming stew on it.
The woman that accompanied the sheriff was of moderate height. She had a round oval face. “If you’ll unlock the door, sheriff, I will leave this bountiful meal for them to eat. These bowls won’t be missed overnight,” she serenely stated.

Grace gasped as she heard that familiar, jovial voice. Abraham’s wife, Hope, had delivered dinner this evening!

The sheriff bowed his head at the woman as he replied, “As you wish Mrs. Bacon. Are sure you husbands mother won’t run short of food for her Godly household,” the sheriff inquired.

“She’s the one who sent the food to them all,” Mrs. Bacon informed.

“How does only one of her children turn to the devil’s charms?”

“Abraham is a saint sheriff,” Mrs. Bacon agreed, “So is Nathaniel.”

The sheriff chuckled and complimented, “Hope Bacon, you are indeed a saint to always find the good in even the worst of people.

“Alright, I’ll open the cell for you, after which we’ll tally up what these pathetic creatures owe you.”

“Nonsense, sheriff! Mrs. Bacon wouldn’t dream of charging for such a simple meal. She believes, as all of us do, that even the smallest kindness can cause a person to consider repenting their sins.”

“These creatures deserve no kindness from you,” the sheriff coolly informed as he opened the door to the cell.

Once Hope darted into the tiny cell to lay the bowls of stew at the feet of the prisoners. The sheriff brusquely informed, “I’ll be waiting out front for you Mrs. Bacon.”

“Thank you sheriff, and may God bless you,” Hope answered as she knelt to place the still warm bowls of stew at the feet of the prisoners.

The sheriff shrugged dismissively as he walked back to the front of the jail. The heavy wooden door slammed shut after the sheriff.

“Grace what happened,” Hope exclaimed with eyes the size of dinner plates.

Grace couldn’t look at her sister-in-law, but she could hear the horror in her voice.
“Tis been a long few days, Hope. I refuse to confess to something that I haven’t done,” Grace hoarsely replied.

“This is inhumane! To be lashed for refusing to confess is abominable! As for the pillory there is no reason to shame you.

“As for the cell bars no jail in the colony has those. None would dare to escape,” Hope declared.

Grace snorted inelegantly at Hope’s indignation before answering, “Methinks that our jailors don’t have a worry for our well being; the jailers don’t trust us to meet our fate,” Grace finished grimly.

“Your brother will be extremely upset.”

“Pray that he does nothing rash,” Grace implored.

Hope shook her head and gave all three ladies in the cell a warm bowl of stew. Tituba and Mrs. Osbourne reached for the bowl as Hope attempted to feed Grace as though she were a newborn.

The women ate in silence, relishing the warm stew that was coating their hungry stomachs. Grace was eating with her eyes closed; trying to forget her misery for a moment.

After a few bites Grace asked, “How are mother and father?”

“Your father is stubborn in the fact that if you are accused than you must be guilty. He doesn’t show it, but this is breaking him.

“Your mother refuses to believe that you are capable of such a thing. Nazareth has heard them viciously arguing over the matter. He doesn’t believe these charges other.

“You already know Abraham doesn’t believe them,” Hope quietly informed.

Tears flared behind Graces’ eyelids forcing her to open them and look into the spoon that

Hope held in her hand. Grace gasped sharply causing Hope to question, “What?”

“It’s the stew. It’s black and purple,” Grace exclaimed. Tituba’s face turned ashy and Mrs. Osbourne set her bowl down with a thud.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying Grace,” Hope softly stated.

“St. Anthony’s fire. It’s the reason the children are acting up. The grain crops are rotting with St. Anthony’s fire,” Grace insisted.

“Grace, I’ve never been out of Salem. I literally don’t know what you’re saying,” Hope informed.

Grace took a breath and whispered, “Father and I went to Stamford a while back and there was talk of the grain crops being tainted. They had symptoms just like the girls. They called it St. Anthony’s fire,” she finished desperately as thunder rolled across the darkening sky.

Bloody Maples


Recently I have been working on my first ghost story/horror story. A few people have read it and they encouraged me to share it with you. This is far beyond what I normally write so I would be really appreciative of your comments on it.

The current title for this piece is Bloody Maples and it ponders what the malevolent spirits that were persecuted could want after all this time.

Happy Reading!

Tall sugar maples shaded a lifeless tree that clung to a sheer cliff bluff. Below the cliff a shallow ravine trickled with red tinged water. Frayed ropes swayed on the lower branches of the dead tree.

No birds flew overhead; even the calls of the animals died this crisp autumn night.

Clouds rolled in as the earth began to shake. Red water crested the bank as the earth shook allowing the ravine to rise and rest at the base of the maples. Lightening flashed as forms emerged from the water and stood with bowed heads at the base of the dead tree.
One figure, then another, knelt next to the tree as the water receded. It was a somber affair as nineteen figures prayed over lives long lost.

Tonight though, they weren’t here to mourn the past; they were here to celebrate the future.

Lightening cracked across the sky as another figure stepped out of the tree.
She wore an elaborately antiquated dress whose colors were as faded and luminescent as the moonlight. The only bright color that adorned her was the sparkling sapphire that shone from her eyes.

As wind howled through the trees, the woman chillingly whispered, “My children, for far too long this mortal realm has rested on our innocent souls! They shed our pure blood for the comfort of their minds. Tonight these vile mortals will lose the solace they purchased in vain!

“Tonight they shall suffer the tortures they rained upon our heads as we walk through their homes and into the dreams they hold true,” she rasped as the wind howled into the night.

A man in tattered breeches and a wide brimmed hat gracefully rose and grovelled, “For that milady, on this treacherously bright All Hallow’s Eve.”

Milady looked upon the humbled man and cooed, “Father George, you need not thank me for what The Impaler has declared a treat for his most faithful.”

Excitement fluttered through the translucent ghosts faster than a humming bird could flap its wings. The tittering exclamations of, “He remember us,” flickered faster than a candle in the wind amongst the pale group.

Milady smiled benevolently as she assured, “Most fondly does the Prince remember those that floated with him during the Mafiosi Uprising.”

The pallid ghosts gleamed like a dim light bulb under their Lady’s praise. “Now my children, let us fly while the veil weak and the moon high. Show these mortals that they have rested easy for the last time on our memories and blood. Bestow on them visions of the despairing world that they will rise to in the morning,” Milady eerily commanded.
The ghosts howled around the dead tree as their spirits rose to the highest branches and flew apart in what any observer would call a shooting star.

Clouds began to cover the pale moon and wind began to blow leaves from trees as the ghosts approached the nearest town. A final clap of thunder turned what little moonlight there was the color of blood.

One by one ghosts entered the houses of the sleeping inhabitants who were snugly in their toasty beds.

In the first house a woman wearing a tattered skirt and bonnet cruelly smiled as she entered the mind of her target. The man had the same sneer in his sleep as the judge who had condemned her, and she was delighted to stand here and show him the future that awaited him.

Slowly the form of the woman sank in to the sleeping man and his body turned blue for a moment as his mouth opened in silent horror.

Inside his mind the woman cackled, “Young Sewall, the time has come for you to taste the payment due for the crimes of your ancestors. Once you cross our realm, not even God will save you!”

“I don’t know who you are,” he whimpered.

Her ghostly face smiled in rage, revealing rotten teeth as she whispered, “The judges son doesn’t know a Good? How cruelly then, will it be as flood drowns you at the stake?”

The cracked and cackling voice of Good sent goose bumps up young Sewall’s spine as he was flung towards a stake that popped up from the fertile ground strewn with grain.

Quickly ropes bound him as a stone sprung up from the earth. Stacks of kindling and firewood surrounded his feet as blood fell from the sky.

Young Sewall’s eyes widened as the fertile ground turned to blood and slowly began to rise. “Dear God,” he horrifically uttered.

“He’s not here to save you! As in life we make our own choices after death. He may hear your screams, but he’ll not answer them, young Sewall. Thanks to the laws of the After Life, God has a strictly hands off policy.

“How does it feel to be alone and bereft of help through no cause of your own? How does it feel to be one of us,” Good snarled.

“Please, I never wronged you,” young Sewall pleaded.

“Do you not recognize a witch? While alive, I never wronged anyone either. My soul refuses to accept the fake apologies of your ancestors,” Good sneered.

“That was centuries ago,” young Sewall panicked as the blood crept up the rock he was confined to.

“Vengeance takes eternity to serve,” Good spat.

“Why haven’t you taken your rest after the courts declared you innocent? The judge professed his guilt in those dark times,” he whispered as the bloody water inched ever closer.

“They wouldn’t believe me when I was alive, why should I believe them when I am dead. Their mortal words mean nothing to one who has eternity to watch,” Good coldly explained.

“Taking my life won’t help you now,” young Sewall pleaded.

“True, but an oath I have sworn and keep it I shall. They took my life and you shall drink blood for it,” Good viciously informed as the bloody water lapped at young Sewall’s feet.

Young Sewall gazed at Good with horrified bewilderment. “Good, you’re making no sense. What happened was a tragedy!”

“As a God fearing man surely you can understand that an oath has to be kept,” she icily soothed.

“It’s not too late for your soul Good! God will forgive you for this,” young Sewall pleaded as the blood encompassed his ankles.

Good cackled as a silky male voice smoothly intoned, “Weren’t you listening? Your God has a strictly hands off policy when it comes to the living and the dead.

“I, on the other hand, reward my faithful; and they have decided the fates of those that wronged them.”

Young Sewall looked around frantically, his eyes darting in directions that his head could not swivel. “Who are you? Stop this madness,” he demanded from his bound stake.

A dark chuckle filled the air before an answer was forthcoming, “I am Vlad Tepes. Vovoid of Wallachia. In my time I was a great man, known for rewarding my faithful.

“Tell me, why should I deny Mistress Good her just reward, after such faithful service,” Vlad queried condescendingly.

“Because I’m innocent,” young Sewall screamed from his post.

“So was she, and not a single mortal care,” Vlad sneered as young Sewall slumped against his post allowing the bloody water further up his calves.

Such a pathetic sight cause Good’s cackles to turn from cruelty to delight.

Vlad sneered and responded, “Have they changed so much that the innocent still suffer?” The cold sneer of Vlad’s face was such that the metallic smell of blood mingled with feces, causing Good to cackle once more.

Vlad looked to Good as midnight skies began to lighten and bloody water faded to pure. With a light sneer on his face he commanded, “Mistress Good, our time on this plane is nearing an end this solstice eve. I would suggest you warn this modern man of that which awaits him upon crossing over to us,” he finished in a cool whisper as he faded from thought.

As the lightening flashed once more Good watched the blood drain from young Sewall’s face and assured, “Worry not young Sewall, you shall greet the sun once more. But when your time in the mortal world is through, your soul belongs to the Salem 19. We will see you again,” she promised as her shade faded with the calming waters.

Fall From Grace – Chapter 7


After fixing my computer I have been on something of a roll with my writing. Between writing an honest to goodness ghost story and working on Fall From Grace, I haven’t been short of  ideas.The question I have for you all though, is will Grace stoutly stand against those that would do her harm.

Without further ado, I give you Fall From Grace – Chapter 7.


Cold, wet stone dug into Grace’s back as she let out a nauseous moan. Her stomach churned as the scent of stale urine and rank feces permeated her nose. Every muscle screamed in stiff agony as her senses slowly returned. She tried to raise a cold hand to her face only to find that her hands were restrained next to her head. Her butt was numb and water came halfway up her hips as she languished in the dark puddle on the ground. She squinted as she tried to look up, only to find that her head could not rise more than half an inch. On one side of her Grace felt the rough stone cutting into cold skin; and the other a warm presence.

“Careful Miss Grace. The priest didn’t like what you told them and had you locked in the pillory,” Tituba thickly whispered. The swelling Grace had last seen was gone, though she was still covered with fading bruises.

“To be punished for avowing innocence is a crime frowned upon by God,” Grace whispered hoarsely through cracked lips.

“I fear our captors have little belief in innocence; and I don’t think they have the respect for God they should,” Tituba replied.

“Where are the others?”

“Mrs. Good and Mrs. Osbourne have been taken to the interrogators over at Ingersoll’s Tavern. That was early this morning, Miss. It’s nearing supper time now, I’ve not heard a souls whisper in hours so I’m not thinking supper’s gonna be arriving anytime soon.

“More have been accused since they questioned you,” Tituba fearfully blurted out.


“At least half a dozen in the last four days, Miss Grace. The affliction’s spreading and they say other children are doing the accusing now.”

“None in the community would dare turn their backs to God,” Grace insisted from her bowed position. The silence of the empty cell echoed around her voice.

“That’s not the rumors that are going around Miss Grace. People are saying it’s been awfully cold of late and that God was sending the cold as a way to punish sinners; rumor has it even the pastor thinks God is punishing him,” Tituba plaintively whispered.

“Hush now Tituba. There are always those who wish to call trouble upon others. As for our current situation we can only hope that mortal man can see what God clearly knows,” Grace tiredly informed as her chin hit the board.

“What if that’s not enough,” Tituba worried.

The only answer that Tituba received were the watery breaths that escaped Grace’s now bruised and sleeping form.




Grace jumped awake as a sharp sting struck her foot and thunder rumbled outside. The pillory didn’t allow her to raise her head as another sting raced through her foot. The sturdy leather shoes on her feet were not enough to numb yet another sting.

A flash of lightning silhouetted the narrow legs of a man in dark breeches his white stockings gave the man a supernatural appearance in the eery light. This time the sharp snap of a whip accompanied the sting on her feet. A quick glance around told Grace she was alone in the cell.

“Ow,” Grace whimpered as another lash struck her feet.

“Who else signed the Devil’s Book,” the male voice harshly snarled.
Though she could not raise her head Grace refused to sit there in shame. She may have been forced into the pillory, but the reason behind it was no fault of hers. She squared her shoulders as best she could before answering with a bowed head, “I, nor anyone else, have signed NO book.”

The darkened figure seemed to erupt in rage as he swung the whip once more. This time the leather cut into the soles of her sturdy shoes. Grace flinched in her seat and knocked her head against the pillory as fresh pain racked her foot.
A rolling crack of thunder covered Grace’s whimpers of pain.

“Name your conspirators,” he commanded.

A tear fell down Grace’s mud caked face as she gasped for air. As she was about to respond her mud encrusted face turned as pale as the moon. With no other warning, she spewed the bile in her stomach all over her urine soaked skirt.

As the bile was dripping from her mouth Grace spat, “The only crime being committed here is the disgrace that you are showing to women.”

“You lost any protections that your sex demands when you signed the Devil’s Book,” the man coldly informed.

“I signed no such book,” Grace stubbornly insisted.

Even though it was dark in the cell Grace could tell the man was shaking in rage. “Your protestations of innocence will do you no good. The children have seen you,” the man snarled as he cracked his whip once more.

This time, the man didn’t give Grace a chance to claim innocence. He continued to snap his whip delivering lancing sting after cutting lash to the bottom of her feet. Grace’s wails of pain were drowned in the downpour of rain outside her cell.

Fall From Grace – Chapter 6


Hi all!

It took me four days to fix my computer that decided it wanted to crash. The frustration was of epic proportions! I do hope you will forgive me for not getting this next chapter of Fall From Grace up sooner.

Without further ado, I give you Chapter 6 in Fall From Grace.

Happy reading and feel free to tell me what you think!


Thunder shook the sky as lightning illuminated the Salem Dungeon and Jail. As wind howled through the stone walls and iron bars, Grace shivered in her sleep. The four women were huddled next to each other for warmth.

As goose bumps formed on their chilled flesh, ice crystals formed on their stringy hair. While Grace stirred in her sleep the stones of the cell wall began to weep with the late winters rain that ushered spring into the world. Grace turned her head and gasped as she woke. With one hand on her racing heart and the other in her lap, Grace urged, “We need to be up ladies. Else wise we’ll be frozen in a bath before our due is collected.”

The others grumbled from where they slumbered and Grace tried again, “Hurry ladies! Standing is better than sitting at the moment. Even the rats have bailed ship,” she insistently whispered.

That seemed to do the trick as the other three rubbed their eyes and looked around them. Once they had time to adjust their eyes Mrs. Good snarked, “Even God doth try to make our stay more miserable.”

“Hush now Mrs. Good. Your bitter words of reality won’t help us much now,” Grace admonished. “Help Tituba to stand whilst I assist Mrs. Osbourne.”

Mrs. Good raised a white eyebrow as she spat, “Tis not my place to be helping a slave.”

“We’re in this together at the moment Mrs. Good. You are no better than Tituba, nor is she any better than you. If we are to survive this than we must stand together or surely the devil himself will feast on our souls,” Grace asserted stubbornly.

Mrs. Good narrowed her old eyes but decided to say nothing as she reached a hand down to help Tituba to her feet.

At the other end of the short chain gang Grace did her best to support Mrs. Osbourne only to find herself leaning heavily against the cold, weeping wall. “Thank you dear, for helping to make an old woman more comfortable. With God’s grace we shall be out of this devilish nightmare before the day is up,” Mrs. Osbourne hoped.

Mrs. Good frowned deeply as Tituba whispered, “We should do better to hope that common sense rules out a child’s imaginary word.”

Leaning on each other the women began to raggedly pace the tiny cell. No more than four half steps were taken before they were forced to turn the other way. Slowly loose threads became heavy and ankles turned numb. The sloshing of water could be heard with every step.

Lightning flashed, illuminating the women; two were covered in purple and blue bruises, one was bitter, and the last held the pale pallor of the ill. Frozen facades concentrated on the weeping stone walls while numb and shackled feet forced the women to stumble into an ever increasing puddle of muddy blood. The women moaned as they landed one on top of another like a pile of freezing logs forgotten in the night.

As the women tried to pull themselves upright once more they could hear the heavy clang of metal against metal. The slow steady clanging reminded them of a hammer hitting iron ore at the smithy. The clanging was accompanied by the soft scuff of leather boots against the stone floor.

When the loud clanking stopped a hoarse voice commanded, “Grace Bacon.”

The four women finally pulled themselves up and Grace meekly acknowledged as her eyes landed on an elderly woman dressed in black, “Yes.” Her mud encrusted head looked out the cell, showcasing the black eye that covered half her face.

“You’re to come with me for examination on charges of witchcraft and heresy,” the craggy faced woman brusquely informed.
As the guards with the nun opened the cell Grace stood her ground, “Holy Sister, I am not guilty of this crime.”

The nun sneered coldly at the ragged women in the cell. The moment her shackles released Grace took a step backwards and one of the guards reached forwards and derisively snorted, “None of that now, girlie. Come and let the sister have a look at you.”

“No,” Grace shouted as her legs crumbled beneath her. A loud splash greeted her landing as she doused the others in the cell with icy water.

The wrinkled nun shook her head as the guards gripped Grace’s upper arms and drug her to her feet. “Ow! You vile doormen are hurting me,” Grace vehemently exclaimed.

“Were you a better child of God your treatment would reflect that,” the nun coldly stated.

“I may not wear the cloth of God, but the devil has never found a place in my hands or heart,” Grace grunted as she was being forced from her cell.

The nun snorted, “Lies will not best serve you on this day.”

Grace continued to struggle against her captors as she was drug down the frost covered stones of the hallway outside of the communal cell. As Grace’s leather clad feet drug across icy stones a tear fell down her bruised and swollen cheek.

With little warning the guards released Grace as she looked up to find herself under the wrinkled and disapproving glare of the Holy Sister. As wood splintered across the stone floor, Grace glared back with the ferocity of a tiger and warned, “The same God that judges you, watches over me.”

The Holy Sister gazed upon Grace with enough condescension that she could have fermented rye on a cold winters night. “God heavily frowns upon those who signs the Devil’s book,” she sneered.

Grace’s eyes barely had time to widen at this accusation before her jailers roughly grabbed her arms once more. After this short trek through the passageways that Grace was beginning to think of as hell, she straightened her spine and asserted, “He also frowns upon those who bear false witness.”

With this assurance Grace walked through the door that the guards had opened. With what pride she could muster Grace walked through the doors into a dimly lit room. The sun hadn’t yet risen allowing no natural light to illuminate the room; only a couple of simple torches on the back wall lit the room. A small door was centered between the torches.
The stone walls were damp while puddles formed on the wooden floor under the windows. The guards shoved Grace to the center of the room. The guards each took a place on either side of the door, leaving Grace to the mercy of the mercurial and wrinkled nun.

Bruised and hungry, Grace stood in front of the Holy Sister. Where her ankles had been chained, her skin was now scratched allowing fresh blood to spill onto already formed scabs. Her dress was torn and stained. Grace refused to bow her head revealing hair that was matted to her head.

While she did not bow her head, Grace did drop her shoulders under the heavy scrutiny of the wrinkled nun. The squeaking of hinges broke the deafening silence. Grace whipped her head around to see a priest and two brothers enter the room from the hidden door.
The priest sneered at Grace while nodding towards the guards and greeting, “Thank you Sister for waiting. I would have been here sooner had I not been asking for guidance when it comes to these sour creatures that would go against His way,” the priest informed.
The priest motioned for the two brothers to stand next to the guards as he circled Grace with a sneer. “What do you have to say for yourself,” the priest asked derisively as he came to a stop in front of her; blocking any view of the nun.

Grace let out a deep breath as she met her accusers gaze head on, “As God as my witness I am no witch.”

This declaration turned the priests face the shade of a ripe apple, “You are no more than the harlot of Satan,” he snapped.

“God would not allow such a thing,” Grace stubbornly asserted.

The priests eyes narrowed as he crossed himself. As Grace stood there trembling the priest cocked his head and viciously grabbed her by the shoulder.

Narrow, cold fingers pulled Grace forward before flinging her towards the rear wall. For a terrifying moment Grace’s arms and legs flailed through the air only to be stopped with a sickening crunch. A moan escaped Grace’s lips as she landed in a broken pile next to a puddle of icy water.

“Listen you vile Bride of Satan, you and yours will not leave this mortal prison until you name those that signed the Devil’s Book,” the priest thundered as lightning flashed outside.

Grace moaned weakly as she muttered, “My soul belongs to G0d.”

“Stubbornness will not stand against God’s judgement. Perhaps the pillory will break your pride, sinful child of Satan,” the priest threatened.

“Do what you will. Just remember, God will judge you for your crimes against a woman,” Grace whispered from the floor.

“I am not guilty of selling my soul to the devil, and you are nothing more than a bedamned, soulless creature who knows nothing of God’s plan,” the priest coldly informed Grace.

After finishing his condemnation the priest turned to face the guards and ordered, “Take this pathetic creature back to her cell and lock her in the pillory. Her protestations of innocence are but the devils handiwork.”

Fall From Grace – Chapter 5


Hi all,

As you know my current WIP – which I am planning to have out by Oct. 31st at the latest – features Grace Bacon. The back drop for this book is the horror of the Salem witch trials. The men and women who were charged with these crimes were victims of class warfare.

Some one else wanted what they had and chose to use a serious medical that many suffered from to persecute these men and women.

While I would like to think that men and women of the modern era would not go on a witch hunt in the name of religion I also know that mass hysteria can happen at any time.

Also, in this chapter I have brought in the Geneva Bible which is the one that the Puritans would have used in the seventeenth century. By attempting to study this bible I have gained several insights on the ways that time and people have changed.

So Please be conscious of what you say and how you act, for you never know when something will change.

Without further ado I give you Chapter 5 of Fall From Grace.

As always,

Happy Reading!

p.s. Don’t forget to tell me what you think!

The sun had set long ago and Grace laid her head upon her hands. The fire pit at the end of the hall had died hours before, leaving cool embers to emit what little warmth they had left. The moon sporadically peaked through the clouds above; giving infrequent illumination to the cell. Supper would be soon and the four of them had huddled together for warmth. Grace held the bible that Abraham had given her earlier next to her chest as she prayed silently.

Her hazy breath surrounded her face in the dark cell. The clothes she wore were muddy; loose threads frayed at the seams of her skirt. Her once bright skirt was now stained with mud as urine began to reek in the cell. Mice began to scurry on the floor as the ladies settled into an odd form of comfort.

Their jailers refused to let them out to relieve even the most basic of human needs.

Sitting on the ice encrusted, mud floor in the midst of three other women, Grace let out a sigh as her stomach grumbled. Dinner should have been served when the sun had set. Apparently there would be no dinner today.

“Perhaps it’s for the best that they forgot to serve dinner. Whether they stretch our necks or dismiss the charges there is no way the doormen will let us leave here without paying our due,” Mrs. Good dourly informed.

“Very true, Mrs. Good. They will charge us for use of our shackles and the meals we eat. Though I don’t think they forgot to feed us,” Grace grimly replied.

“Forget not our lodging as well, child,” Mrs. Good sourly reminded.

“Hmm,” Grace answered in quite reply. “Mrs. Good, what is it you are always muttering when you walk away from someone?”

Mrs. Good snorted sharply before responding, “A prayer for patience. Some of those I beg food and work from are less humble than they should be. Why? Are you so lost in God that you leave your fate to the villainous man he created?”

“Peace, Mrs. Good. Twas only a question asked in friendship, no offense was meant,” Grace beseeched.

“Besides,” Grace continued primly, “Tis a known fact that God helps those who help themselves. Could I entreat you to take the Prayer of the Lord with me?”

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt,” was the sour, defeated reply.

Quietly the two began, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.”

When Mrs. Good and Grace finished their prayer, Tituba and Mrs. Osbourne whispered in unison, “Amen.” Both voices were broken, one from illness and the other from abuse.
Grace raised her head and quietly apologized, “Ladies forgive me. I had not meant to disturb your rest.”

“Worry not m’girl,” Mrs. Osbourne assured, “A prayer is sometimes the only recourse we have.”

An inelegant snort escaped from Mrs. Good. Grace shook her head as she listened to the two elderly women butt heads once again. As the women spoke harshly to one another Grace looked over and whispered, “How are you feeling Tituba?”

“A bit sore Miss Grace. What are we to do now,” she asked plaintively.

“Had I a direct ear to God, Tituba, I would know. Barring that unlikely happening, all we can do is to pray that He knows what is best for us,” Grace murmured as tears welled up in her eyes.

“Miss Grace, I’m scared,” Tituba whispered.

Grace trembled where she sat as salty tears began to fall. Wincing from the weight of something so small Grace sobbed, “We all are.”


Fall From Grace – Chapter 4


As you know my current project is Fall From Grace. The synopsis of this work in progress (WIP) is:

In a community where God’s path is the single, most important part of your life, witchcraft is the foulest sin imaginable.

On the eve of her betrothal, Grace Bacon stands accused of this horrendous crime. Will she be able to withstand the harsh conditions that the Salem Jail and Dungeon contain? Will anyone believe that she didn’t commit the dreadful acts she stands accused? Will she be able to hold onto to her faith?


Without further ado I give you chapter  4 of Fall From Grace. As always feel free to tell me what you think of the current book I am working on!

Happy reading!

The sun was shining through the narrow windows of the jail providing thin slits of illumination to the prisoners. The four women sat on the muddy floor. Grace was between Mrs. Good and Mrs. Osbourne while Tituba sat on the end.

Tituba’s dark head was resting on the stone wall as hinges creaked. The grating sound roused the four from their restless thoughts. Bumping into each other they rose. As they stood in a row Mrs. Osbourne rested a cold and trembling hand on Grace’s back.

“Remember, Miss Bacon, mortal man and his laws are still judged by God,” Mrs. Osbourne soothingly whispered.

A dimple fleetingly appeared on Grace’s face as she nodded confirmation to Mrs. Osbourne. “And a man who cares little for God will never find favor in his hallowed halls,” Grace whispered back.

“If you two will quit your yammering prayers we have a more severe problem. I don’t think these men care what God would want. Tis more like they would rather partake in earthly pleasures,” Mrs. Good snapped.

“Intoning the Will of God allows us to keep our necks from getting stretched,” Mrs. Osbourne shot back snarkily.

Grace took a deep breath and implored, “Ladies, have some dignity if you please. We will face our accusers with the grace God gave us at birth,” she finished sternly.
A light clapping could be heard from the approaching figures before a male voice complimented, “Well done, Grace.”

A worn book was secured under one arm.

A grin bloomed on Graces face as she exclaimed, “Abraham! What are you doing here?”

“Trying to see you,” Abraham answered as he approached the cell. When Abraham stepped close to the cell his eyes flared in anger as his hands reached through the doors. He gently reached for Grace’s face only to have her flinch.

“Who would dare,” Abraham quietly thundered.

Grace shuddered at the anger in Abraham’s voice. “Worry not Abraham. Bruises fade with God’s grace,” Grace comforted.

“No Grace. Do not give forgiveness for those that would dare harm a woman. They are the ones that have no grace,” Abraham instructed. Abraham took a deep breath to control his rage before continuing, “Father told me you were charged with witchcraft. With your faith, I cannot believe such a thing possible,” Abraham insisted.

Grace shook her head and whispered, “I have not done this Abraham, my soul has always belonged to God. ‘Tis a mistake made of Miss Betty and Miss Abigail.”

“How do children come into this,” Abraham asked in confusion.

Grace looked to Tituba only to see the woman swaying on her feet. “Mrs. Good. She is going to fall,” Grace quietly exclaimed. Unfortunately, the warning was too late. Before Mrs. Good could steady Tituba, the bruised woman fell backwards.

As Tituba fell the arms of the other women flailed out in a desperate attempt to keep themselves upright. As they toppled the women landed one on top of the other.
Tituba’s pained moans were heard from the bottom of the pile. The women carefully and quickly pulled apart. Upon seeing this Abraham practically shouted, “Together!”
“Tis alright, Abraham. Anger will not serve us here. At least we are still alive,” Grace reasoned.

“This is inhumane. One man should not be chained to another; ‘tis not God’s will,” Abraham ardently insisted.

“There is not much to be done for it Abraham. Man writes the rules at the moment. We can only trust that God has chosen the right man for the times,” Grace patiently explained.

“How are you accepting of this degradation?”

“I know I am innocent,” Grace simply replied.

Abraham shook his head as he looked down at his sister. “I know that as well. Sadly, that does not explain the situation.”

“As I said earlier, Miss Betty and Miss Abigail have a part in this. As you know they have been frightfully ill of late. At any rate, a pastor from the village came to take a look at them.

“The girls were asked who caused them such an illness and they claimed bewitchment by Tituba.

“She apparently tried to tell Reverend Parris that I would vouch her godliness and I ended up here,” Grace quickly explained.

“Showing a kindness is what ended you up here,” Abraham asked incredulously.

Grace nodded her head as a tear escaped her eyes. “I’ll try speaking with Father again. He adamantly refuses to discuss the matter. I found out through Nazareth what happened. It’s throughout the entire Towne what happened.

“I’m afraid that Mr. Millson has informed Father that a Courtship is now out of the question,” Abraham regrettably informed his sister.

“Abraham, I swear this to you. I am not guilty of witchcraft,” Grace insisted as tears leaked from her eyes.

“I know little sister,” Abraham whispered as he grabbed the book from under his arm. He leaned into the cell to better reach his sister. The book bridged the gap between the two for a short moment.

“I know you well Grace. May you find some comfort in these pages while I attempt to convince Father that his only daughter would never turn from God,” Abraham assured.
Grace took the book handed to her and smiled as she read the cover – Holy Bible. Grace’s trembling hand reached out to accept the gift from her brother. “I believe you sister, of that have no doubt.

“Until then stay strong for us all.”

“Abraham, this means more to me than you could know.”

“No Grace. The love I have for you mirrors the love God has for all his children. If I can help you in anyway, I will. Hope sends her love as well,” Abraham informed.

Grace bowed her head from where she sat. Just knowing that someone believed her was enough to give Grace the strength to see this through.